Windows 10 S is easy to dismiss as a stripped-down version of Windows 10 since it can only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store. But it actually has a bunch of enterprise-friendly features that Windows 10 Home lacks, including Bitlocker encryption, Azure AD domain join, and Windows Update for Business support. Previously you would have needed Windows 10 Pro to get those features.
But it turns out that the inability to install apps from third-party sources isn’t the only feature Windows 10 S lacks: you also can’t change the default browser or search engine.
Microsoft says you will be able to download third-party web browsers from the Windows Store. But you won’t be able to set them as the default.
That means clicking a link, html file, or other item that would normally open a web browser will always launch the Microsoft Edge web browser. And when you perform a web search using the Edge location bar or Cortana assistant, Bing will always be the default search engine.
Sure, you can always set Google, DuckDuckGo, or another search engine as your home page, but it will take a few more clicks to get to them than it will to just use Bing.
The good news is that while you can’t easily switch your default browser or search engine in Windows 10 S you can relatively easily change the operating system. If you decide Windows 10 S is too restrictive for your needs, you can always open the Windows settings menu and choose to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for $49.
Microsoft notes that the upgrade is “one-way.” There’s no option to go back to Windows 10 S once you’ve upgraded.
That means you’ll lose out on any security or performance benefits that come with a more locked-down operating system. But you also get the ability to run any Windows app you want… and to set any browse or search engine as your default.
via The Verge